Commentary notes can be accessed by clicking on a blue square. The Latin text can be accessed by clicking on a green square.

ACT III, SCENE i blue
CHARLEMAGNE, EINHARD

spacerCHAR. Einhard, we have now deliberated sufficiently, partly about matters that seem to pertain to the welfare of our people, and partly about matters which pertain to the expansion of our empire’s territory. Now that the dinner has ended, as well as the after-dinner party, it pleases me that we walk here a while for relaxation. But so that this hour may not slip away without yielding some fruit, now is the moment to raise a matter which I will entrust to you.
spacerEIN. It goes without saying that what we discussed will be carefully done.
spacerCHAR No, it’s another matter.
spacerEIN. What more is there that my skills can do for you?
spacerCHAR. I have no need of your special skills for the matter which is now in hand, but of those talents which I have always known reside in you, loyalty and quickness.
spacerEIN. I am waiting to hear what you wish.
spacerCHAR. For several years my experience of you has testified to your readiness to serve me and your trustworthiness in advising me, as well as your most careful concern to carry out my orders. Having reviewed this experience more than sufficiently, as you know, I made you my counselor and secretary.
spacerEIN. I remember this.
spacerCHAR. I have not changed my mind.
spacerEIN. I am happy that whatever I have done or am doing is pleasing to you, great king, thrice-famed father of your country, and I consider it sufficient thanks that my actions were gratifying to you. At the same time I am uneasy, for your recital seems to be a criticism of me, as being unmindful of your kindnesses. So tell me in one word what you wish of me.
spacerCHAR. That I will do. Einhard, you know to whom my daughter is betrothed.
spacerEIN. I know, thrice-famed king, to the King of Greece.
spacerCHAR. That’s right. I want you to compose a letter to him, in my words, with a most friendly salutation.
spacerEIN. I will do this, great king. But what will be the message in this letter?
spacer CHAR. You are aware that my daughter (I refer of course to my beloved Emma) has been raised in the royal women’s quarters as befits the daughter of a king. She has now reached the age when she has been courted not only by many suitors who are descended from ancient nobility, but also by the King of Greece, whom you just mentioned, and to whom she has been promised. Nothing seems left to do except perform the marriage ceremony which will join the two under the best auspices. Therefore — and I hope that this may be happy and fortunate for me, for my beloved daughter, and for her husband — I want the marriage rites to be celebrated as soon as possible, and I want the King of Greece to inform me of the day that he intends to take my daughter to his home.
spacerEIN. . Famed king, without delay I will give you this matter in finished form. But if perchance it is not convenient for the King of Greece to celebrate this marriage right away, what must we do then?
spacerCHAR. I will see to that when the time comes. But what reason for delay can he cite? Is not everything settled? Is this not a real marriage? Now you make sure that you succeed in having a wedding day named very soon. The sooner this marriage is celebrated, the happier I will be. In any case, as you are aware, this kind of procrastination by the future couple is dangerous.
spacerEIN. You speak only the truth.
spacerCHAR. It is not rare, in fact it often happens that weddings and marriage ceremonies have been put off for too long, with the result that gossiping tongues or new lovers appear in the meantime and stir up embarrassing situations that are very difficult to quell.
spacer EIN. This is certainly true, but since your daughter, famed king, has been raised in a chaste, modest, and royal household (as indeed she has been raised very royally and chastely), there is all the less reason to fear the dangers that you just mentioned.
spacerCHAR. I don’t fear them. Nevertheless it is the duty of a wise man to consider in advance all outcomes. Therefore, I want my daughter, once I betrothed her, to be united with her future spouse. That will be the purpose and gist of the letter. You compose it in proper form with your usual facility in writing.
Ein. It will be as you ordered, great king.
spacerCHAR. In the meantime I can now offer thanks, inadequate as it must be, to my immortal and omnipotent God, who has granted me not just a vigorous spirit, ample good fortune, courage in the face of all hazards, and very many famous victories over my enemies, but has also, by this new relationship, attached a new, royal line to my family, a gift so great that, by heaven, I do not know if any other family has been equally graced with greater honors and glories.
spacerEIN. I must say, godlike king of the Franks Charlemagne, as often as I cast my eyes up to the pinnacle of your good fortune, I see there only one or two monarchs in the whole world who could be considered equal to you, whether I speak of your merits in war or in the arts of peace.
spacerCHAR. It has always seemed more righteous to me to seek glory through riches of spirit, rather than of power, and since the life which we enjoy is short, we should make the memories of ourselves as lasting as can. The glories of riches and race are fleeting and fragile. But merit alone is considered to be bright and everlasting.
spacerEIN. It is so, greatest of kings. To be sure you have never lacked majesty of spirit.
spacer CHAR. In fact, among our courtiers I have never hated anything as much as rash spirits, tricky and clever spirits, hypocrites and dissemblers about any matter. On the other hand I especially love those who evince such habits as flow from the transparent channels of an open heart.
spacerEIN. Indeed, openness always deserves the value you place on it.
spacerCHAR. For this reason you, Einhard my secretary, should continue as you have done, living according to my old-fashioned ways and customs. Do now those things that I have directed. I will not trouble those counselors of mine, who act like barrels which can never be filled and who feed their wicked bellies with the tribute of the nations. They judge friendships and enmities not according to their true value, but according to their convenience, and they prefer an attractive face to an attractive mind, and (like Verconius Thurinus) blue they sell smoke. These men eagerly perform the duty of a good soldier only when they fight with a thievish hand and a silver spear.
spacerEIN. From youth up to my present age I have always been entirely submissive, greatest of kings, to all your orders and commands. In regard to my inner nature I think I am a free man, but in regard to your lordship, I considered it proper that my attitude should be one of submission and obedience.
spacerCHAR. I thoroughly approve of this.
Ein. I have always esteemed these maxims as a shield for my youth: never go any place where there might be an encouragement to vice; never break open the moneyboxes of the poor or steal anything from another — or from you — through any silver-fever of mine. I have taken pains that I not cause any distress to anyone. I have always kept your commands in perfect preservation by my own modest conduct.
spacerCHAR. I praise you for it. But now it is time to participate in the sacred mysteries, and so I will move indoors into my chamber. You, Einhard, make sure to carefully accomplish both the first and the second matter. Now farewell.
spacerEIN. It will be done as you ordered, unconquered king. Farewell.

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ACT III, SCENE ii
EINHARD alone

spacerEIN. The king has gone. By God Almighty, what handsome good fortune, what beneficent favor could I enjoy from my king if only love had not blended together gall and wormwood for me! O miserable man, what a plight have I been cast into now! Can I act like this against my dearest Emma? Can I act against myself and write this letter which will benefit my rival? O fickle fortune, you are constant to no one! So many cares worry me and pull my mind in so many directions: love, pity, this urgent request about the marriage, the orders of my King Charlemagne, who has raised me to such a height of honor. The very thought of opposing him! Woe is me, it is unclear what I should do. On one side love grabs me, drives me, urges me on, torments me. On another I am sad because she was not born in my station, nor I in hers. Yet again I am losing all hope because my life, my love, belongs to another. On the other hand, this parting, this separation from my beloved is driving me mad.
spacerO dearest Emma, my love, you must be joined in marriage to that man, whom you swore you could not marry. You must forget about this man, whom you love most of all, without whom you declared that you could not long live! O wretched Einhard, are you forced to lose your heart’s delight and your life in this way? O fickle twists of fate! Just today, how intimately did she approach me! How modestly did she speak to me, how suitably, how intelligently! Just today, how she offered all her addresses, all her love to me with such modest demeanor! But however fortune may make a mockery of us, whatever threats fortune may have in store for me and my love, this one thing I can say with absolute truth: Emma, if not mine in body, is certainly mine in spirit.

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ACT III, SCENE iii blue
MENALCAS, AMARYLLIS, EINHARD

spacerMEN. May things turn out well for me, for you, for your son, and for the coming wedding. Follow me this way, my child, with the gods’ blessing. You know, you remember, you understand what thing we have been working on. I have shared all my plans with you. For that reason I have dressed you in this fashion. Along with me you will approach the secretary of King Charlemagne.
spacerAMA. Oh no, no!
spacerMEN. Foolish girl, why are you crying?
spacerAMA. I am afraid to approach this great man.
spacerMEN. Why?
Ama. Because I don’t know what to say.
spacerMEN. Now, you slut, look here. How stupid you are. You knew well enough how to take straight aim at the king’s cook. But now, in a matter that concerns your interests, you don’t know what to say.
Ein. Just now I seemed to hear the voice of a countryman talking here. But look, I spy him coming this way. I wonder what he wants here at the court with a girl and a baby.
spacerMEN. Now I would gladly give a reward to anyone who shows me that man or tells me where he lives.
spacerEIN. I’ll talk to this man.
spacerMEN. But who is this man who strides so magnificently towards us?
spacerEIN. Countryman, what is your business here, whom do you seek, what do you want?
spacerMEN. O sir, I beg and plead with you and I ask that it not be such a trouble to you to give me some help in what I ask of you.
spacerEIN. So ask, tell me.
spacerMEN. If you are able to point out to me that man whom I am seeking, you will incur great and enduring thanks from me.
Ein. What is his name?
spacerMEN. They say he is full of energy, well-known to all, and a very good man.
spacerEIN. You are being ridiculous. Go ahead and tell me his name.
spacerMEN. His name is Einhard. Do you know him?
spacerEIN. As well as I know myself. Come on, tell me what your business is with him.
spacerMEN. Unless I can reveal my business to Einhard himself, I have come here in vain. I have had enough of being led into a trap by villainous lawyers.
spacerEIN. If you want to talk to Einhard, talk to me.
spacerMEN. Praise God, are you perhaps Einhard himself?
spacerEIN. The very one.
spacerMEN. Are you the secretary of my king?
spacerEIN. Yes.
spacerMEN. Are you very skilled in the law?
spacerEIN. Why don’t you just forget these rambling speeches and just tell me the matter as briefly as you can in simple words.
spacer MEN. I beg you first, please take this rabbit which I have brought. Put this tiny present down to my credit.
spacerEIN. No, why don’t you just keep the rabbit.
spacerMEN. Take it, please.
spacerEIN. I’m telling you to keep it. You can either sell it or eat it yourself.
spacerMEN. Hey, aren’t you a lawyer?
spacerEIN. So what?
spacerMEN. If you are, why are you unwilling to take what I willingly give you?
spacerEIN. Do you think that all of the royal counselors are bribe-eaters?
spacerMEN. Well, I venture to say that whichever of the counselors that I previously contacted could not accomplish anything good without a generous gift.
spacerEIN. I can believe it.
spacerMEN. I always had to hand over a cheese, or a chicken, or a ham, or a sausage, or some eggs.
spacerEIN. You are killing me with your rambling talk. Why don’t you come to the point?
spacerMEN. I will speak out, so pay attention, sir, and excuse my ways. I come to you as a student unacquainted with public affairs. You are my teacher.
spacerEIN. So speak.
spacerMEN. To tell the whole business in the shortest way. Antrax the cook has not done his duty like a good or a generous man.
spacerEIN. What does this mean?
spacerMEN. He violated my daughter, my Amaryllis, whom you see standing here.
spacerEIN. Indeed! What are you telling me?
spacerMEN. I have not told you what is the most serious thing.
spacerEIN. What in the world is worse?
spacerMEN. Much worse, since that part is bearable to some degree. Wine, the night, love persuaded them—that’s just human nature. When he realized what he had done, he personally came to me weeping, begging, pleading, making many oaths and promises that he would marry her. I forgave him, I was silent, I believed him. Meanwhile my daughter, who had been raped by him, became pregnant and gave birth. Now that fine fellow does not want to put in an appearance. He’s an eel and wiggles away.
spacerEIN. Countryman, are you certain of what you are reporting to me?
spacer MEN. My daughter is right here; the facts speak for themselves; this boy was born and is his. In fact, if you don’t want to regard me, bring the cook here, tie him up, make an inquiry. Get the truth by torture, if it was not done as I say, sir. blue Besides, Antrax himself will not deny it. Bring us face-to-face. Even more, after he so woefully made a laughing-stock of my Amaryllis, this criminal drove me and Corydon, my comrade, from this very place as if he was chasing geese away from the grain. He gave me and my comrade such a fine and artistic beating that neither of us knew what we were or where we were. Besides that, he loaded on me, unhappy that I am, five hundred blows, so that my whole head is still lumpy all over, and my teeth—you see?—are all loose. Now all my hopes are centered in you, Einhard. I have only you. You are my protector, my father. If you desert me, I’m doomed.
spacerEIN. Be careful about saying that. I will not do it, nor do I think that I rightly can do it.
spacerMEN. I beg you not to be like the other judges, who without exception dared not move against that evil cook. I resorted to still others, then went to more of them, and again some more. One answer; all in one accord made one judgment as if trained in one school.
spacerEIN. Come, dear countryman, be of good cheer. I will endeavor to do it, I will make an attempt, and I will lose my life rather than desert you.
spacerMEN. But, sir, take care and consider this: the greater you are, the more powerful, wealthy, fortunate, noble you are, so much the more should you have an impartial attitude and observe just dealings, if you wish to be esteemed an honorable man.
spacerEIN. Everything will be done that is proper to be done.
spacerMEN. It’s right for you to do this.
spacerEIN. So go away now, and quickly summon Antrax the cook here out-of-doors. See that he is here right away.
spacerMEN. I will do this, my Lord Secretary. You, slut, wait for me here until I fetch this rascal.
spacerEIN. [to Amaryllis] In what way did that man ingratiate himself with you?
spacerAMA. Compliments, gifts, presents. With his compliments he ruined me entirely!
spacerEIN. You should not have yielded to him.
spacerAMA. Ah, my Lord Secretary, he poured such beautiful words into my ears that I could do nothing else. How easy it is to fool a simple, country girl!
spacerEIN. Where did he begin to make sport with you?
spacerAMA. In the kitchen, in the pantry, on the left hand side.
spacerEIN . I’m not asking that, but where did you begin to be acquainted with him—that’s what I want.
spacerAMA.. Where did I become acquainted with him? In this kitchen, where for two whole years I washed the pans and tables as a wretched scullery-maid. After that the wicked man finally tricked me in this unseemly manner.

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ACT III, SCENE iv blue
MENALCAS, ANTRAX, EINHARD, AMARYLLIS

spacerMEN. I’m telling you, out, come out. By Hercules, you must come outside here, you bastard! After this, you’ll look for someone else to stuff with your nonsense, you criminal.
spacerAN. What did I do, you triple bastard?
spacerMEN. Whatever wicked men do.
spacerAN. You, such a slow-witted man, dare to say such nasty things about me?
spacerMEN. Come out, I say, or — if you really do not want to follow me—I can treat you like a dog and chase your worthless carcass with rocks. By Hercules, should I allow you, a cook, to mock me? It would be better for me to perish by some miserable death. If you don’t come this way, you will meet with misfortune. Today I will make sure that your reception is exactly what you deserve.
EIN. Where is that villain?
spacerAN. I’m here, my Lord Secretary.
spacerEIN. Hey, you worthless man, why did you have such confidence in your wicked lust that you dared to violate a maiden?
spacerAN. Which maiden?
spacerEIN. Which maiden? Do you see this country girl who is standing here?
spacerAN. By heaven, as far as I know I have never laid eyes on her before this day and I don’t know her, nor do I want to know her.
spacerAMA. What are you saying? That you don’t know me, you scoundrel?
spacerAN. What’s that, you witch?
spacerAMA. Didn’t you promise me in good faith that you would marry me?
spacerAN. Who said that?
spacerAMA. You.
spacerAN. Who’s this ’you’?
spacerAMA. ’You’ is you. I’m saying that. Do you want me to get an owl who can keep saying ’you, you’ to you?
spacerEIN. Can I perhaps get the truth from you today?
spacerAN. Easily.
spacerEIN. Did you promise marriage to her?
spacerAN. What? Me promise marriage to her? By Hercules I will take an oath in formal and sacred words, Secretary: I never had anything to do with her!
spacerMEN. Even with a holy oath you cannot make matters different from what they are. Antrax treats God as trivial, but by rights he should greatly fear Him.
spacerAMA. But I have witnesses who will prove what I say.
spacerAN. What testimony?
spacer AMA. Testicular testifiers blue.
spacerAN. You’re a bad lot. I’ve got testimony right here for you! You criminal, I’m going to cut that lying tongue right out.
spacerAMA. Oh, oh!
spacerMEN. If you lay a finger on her, I’ll dig your eyes out right then.
spacerAMA. . Oh, oh!
spacerMEN. Slut, what are you crying about? What are you screaming about? There’s no need for screams; you’ll just add more misery to your face. But it helps if you keep a good spirit in a bad situation. We have started on such an important matter that we must proceed without falling asleep.
spacerAMA. You thief, what are you muttering to her?
spacerEIN. I want this skirmishing with words cut short. If you violated this maiden, marry her.
spacerAN. My Lord Secretary, delusions and melancholy control this man, for he is speaking sheer nonsense, and since she cannot be shoved off on anyone else, they resort to me.
spacerAMA. Sir, by the heavenly kingdom of the Lord Almighty I swear, and by the most Holy Mother Mary, whom it is right that I should especially revere and respect, that, no other man other than this one human being has ever touched my body and has thus made me unchaste.
spacerAN. Hey, you are a woman, you will swear to anything.
spacerMEN. What are you saying, Antrax? You who are the one who cares nothing for God. You are full of theft, crime, murder, false witness. Bold, evil, thief, pervert, liar, shameless in everything.
spacerEIN. By Hercules, I’m asking you to answer seriously what I ask. Be careful of any lying.
spacerAN. So what are you asking?
spacerEIN. Have you ever seen this country girl before?
spacerAN. Sure, I saw her often in my kitchen, where she washed the pans and tables.
spacerEIN. Now, you criminal, didn’t you just say that you had not seen her? Now you are testifying something else? Don’t you know that a liar has to have a good memory?
spacerAN. I don’t remember that I said that.
spacerEIN. But you bastard, you just denied it!
spacerAN. You are trying pull tricks on me.
spacerAMA. He pulled the wool over me (stupid me!) with his nasty tricks. He got the nut. I am left with the shells.
spacerAN. What distemper has hold on you? What delusions are you shoving on me? You viper, your brain is disordered.
spacer MEN. [to Einhard.] Now, sir, you understand that he is declaring that he did not do what he did do, and he is claiming that what was not done, not by me and not by her, was done.
spacerAMA. Hey, scoundrel, whether you marry me or not, I am putting this boy of yours, who was planted by you, here on the ground. He’s yours, save him!
spacerAN. Now, so that you will really know what’s what, unless you pick him up, blue I will toss him in the middle of the street and I will toss you after him in the mud.
spacerAMA. You criminal, you are making a different speech to me, now that you have ruined me. You show yourself to be far different now than when you loved me then. How differently you lured me then with sweet and kind words. Then the kitchen was a place of joy when I would come to you as your own. Then you were saying that you loved me as your one and only. What I told you, what I wanted, that you did; what I did not want, indeed forbade, that you avoided more than a mad dog or a snake.
spacerAN. You lie, slut.
spacerAMA. No, you are lying, you who almost destroyed my life and my light, you who heaped a great pile of pain and sorrow on my body for your own pleasure. By heaven, I am still in pain from this sickness. Don’t you remember when you trapped me in that dark corner, when you said: “My life, my heart, my joy, I beg you let me kiss your eyes, my delight! I plead with you, let me love you, my joyous sunshine, my little dove”? Then, you bastard, you sneaked in like a mouse through the wall. Did I ever lie to you? Or are you so forgetful of my generosity towards you?
spacerAN. That’s enough. Shut your mouth, you have squeaked enough. Leave at least a bit of your speech for tomorrow, when you bring your suit against me.
spacerAMA. I should be quiet about you? You pulled a dirty trick on me when first you said that you wanted to have a serious relationship with me. I had no suspicions that all this was in bad faith. You sat by me, you paid attention to me, you took every opportunity to converse with me. Now after all that, you bastard, after making me good and pregnant, after seeing that I am a mother, now this is the fine reward you give me, even though I deserve better. How many endearments did you say? What good presents did you promise? What crafty move did you make against me? What deceptions? How wretchedly you forced me to do what I did! Did you not promise to give me a bottle of wine?
spacer EIN. Now, cook Antrax, pay attention so that you will know what my opinion is about this matter. There is now no way to conceal your tricks and lies, no refuge for your evil deeds, no place of safety for your deceitful wiles, no escape for your cunning schemes. You are stuck like a mouse in a trap, and so you have a choice: either take this country girl with her child, or die in the stony custody of our prison. See what of these choices you prefer.
spacerAN. What? Me marry this slut? With this virgin birth of a child? This one-eyed, barrel-shaped, grey-eyed, lame, fat, dark, thin-lipped, hook-nosed peasant? My Lord Secretary, I cannot.
spacerMEN. Look how choosy he is. Or do you not know cook, that at night all cows are black?
spacerEIN. So, according to what I hear, you do not want to marry this peasant.
spacerAN. I cannot and I will not.
spacerEIN. You, countryman, hurry in and order some policemen to come out here.
spacerMEN. It will be done. I’ll be back here soon. As far as I can see, some trouble is ready for our cook this evening, since the food and the beds are very bad in there.
spacerEIN. You disgrace of a man, with hunger and thirst I will take proper vengeance on your evil deeds as a lover. By heaven I’ll properly torment you with hardships. I will make sure that you live the life you deserve: food fit for Hell, the punishment of shame and crime, an inn of infamy! What whore didn’t you love here? Was there any one you didn’t pay? So I say to you again, unless you take this girl here with you as quick as you can, by Hercules I will make you not know know who you are! Which is it now? Won’t you tell me quickly what you plan to do?
spacerAN. I cannot.
spacerMEN. I am here with the police.
spacerEIN. Put the handcuffs on this jailbird right away.
spacerAN. What’s this? What business is this? What did I do wrong?
spacerEIN. You are asking me, you weeder and sower of villainy, and extra special reaper of them?
spacerMEN. Indeed, this scoundrel disgracefully plowed my daughter!
spacerEIN. Tie his hands firmly, if you please.
spacerMEN. I will also tie them.
spacerAN. Mercy, I beg you.
spacerEIN. Take him straight to jail, since he belongs there. I will make him into a convincing example for these other denizens of the court, so that none of them dare start such wickedness.
spacerMEN. O most honored man of all men who ever lived, my Lord Secretary, where should I now go with my daughter?
spacerEIN. Go home. However, you may return tomorrow, and then I will take steps to settle your affairs as they should be.
spacerMEN. Farewell. You, Amaryllis, now that it is becoming dark, quickly follow me with the boy.
spacerAMA. I’m coming.

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ACT III, SCENE v blue
EINHARD alone

spacerEIN. O tyrant Love, you cause all kinds of quarrels. You drag the inconstant hearts of mortals into all kinds of trouble. You leave no crime, no shame, no treachery or vice untried or unattempted — especially when you lay hold on a kind of man whom good sense and good fortune have abandoned. As far as I am concerned and the more I ponder on the subject, I conclude that this love of mine will result in great disaster for me, unless I assist it by some sort of a plan. As things are now, who has impressed the image of my most noble goddess (Emma, of course) deep in my heart? Should my heart not love her? Not kiss her? Not melt inwardly in her? By God, this maiden is the only one who can make flinty rock fall in love with her. Venus is no longer Venus, because I worship her as Venus so that she may love me and be kind to me.
O Apelles, o Zeuxis, blue you painters, why are you numbered among the dead? You should be here to paint her as your most beautiful model. I would not trouble other painters to portray such a perfect model as she is. If I view her jet-black eyes, there I spot one thousand Cupids in the blink of an eye. If I view her forehead, there I see snow; if her cheeks, there I behold the quintessence of roses; if I think of her lips, so swelling, so lovely, so golden and open to me, there I fancy I see an elaborately decorated treasure chest of all the Graces and Charms. Even more, what cheerfulness in her face, what shining health, what seriousness, what joyfulness glows in her countenance! How gladsome and merry she is from her fingertips to her hair! What breasts, oh, those milky-white, swelling breasts, jewels born to be fondled! What can I think of her delicate hands! I can certainly swear that the beauty of my Emma is so marvelous and rare that the sheer poverty of men’s language can never adequately praise it, for whatever can be said will be less than the truth. I say nothing here about her noble, her kingly descent — although far better would it be if she were known as the daughter of a poor shepherd, or even better of a beggar, rather than of a great king. How quickly, how instantly, would I make her the partner of my bed, even if she were undowered, poor, lacking everything. How fetchingly, how honorably, how generously would I worship her as a goddess with my whole heart! What can I say about her elegant carriage, her so obviously royal spirit? May God bless me, my one and only Emma is so lively, so worthy of love that even the greatest of gods would make a supreme effort in loving her!
spacer My girl is very unlike the other girls, who are always accompanied by whole flocks of maids, and who wish to expose and display themselves in temples, where there are often marketplaces for girls. While in public, nothing could seem to be cleaner, more well-arranged, more elegant than they are. But when they dine with their lovers, they lick the plates, and you can see their gluttony, their filth, their poverty. How vulgar they are when alone at home and how greedy for food, to such an extent that they gobble the black bread from yesterday’s soup! These are the girls whose maids, beginning at dawn, never cease washing or scrubbing or drying or polishing or smoothing or dressing them, or painting and plucking them day and night. Since every night and day during their whole lives they are adorned, bathed, dried, and painted, eventually there is no feminine trait left, and they are never satisfied or have enough of washing and polishing. With great reluctance they inspect various candidate-lovers, but by inveigling and promising, they sometimes lure into their trap young men who are gently educated and totally innocent. They gull their hearts with ever-vanishing hopes, and they glue together some sluttish love into a disgraceful marriage.
spacer I pray that my much-adored Emma be far different from these women! Let her love me alone with all her heart, so that she despises the king of all Greece and prefers me. How could I lose this opportunity, so openly presented, so desirable, so quickly vanishing, so unhoped-for? Certainly no one has such an obstinate mind and such an unbending heart that he would not benefit himself when such an opportunity came along, especially since that very person who made love’s wound, will now heal it. And so I will rely on my hopes for favor, and while it is night, I will refrain from hindering my suit by talking too much. I will make haste (but with very quiet steps) to go into my much-adored Emma’s room. To the maidens in the women’s quarters I will pretend that I have to carry some royal command to my Emma, until she takes me back into her personal boudoir, which I know will certainly be open to me. She has long since opened her heart and her door to me.
spacerNow I will go quietly in, I’ll approach her and control my beating heart. Tonight in the meantime you need not wait for my return outside here, for there will be a remarkable play produced between me and my king’s daughter for the whole night (as long as it may be) until dawn. This intermission must be passed in silence. blue

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